Interesting article. Thought it was just going to condemn "ignorant citizens online" for guiding research dollars, but it seemed more intelligent and nuanced than that.
The James Lind Alliance in the United Kingdom brings together clinicians, patients and their caregivers to articulate research agendas that are important to patients. They state that “the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and academia play an essential role in developing new products. However, their priorities are not necessarily the same as those of patients and clinicians. For this reason many areas of potentially valuable research are neglected.” For example, they recently studied research in osteoarthritis, where 80% of the studies are related to pharmaceuticals. They found that patients and clinicians had relatively little interest in the usual studies of drugs for osteoarthritis of the knee, but wanted more rigorous studies of the effects of physiotherapy, surgery and educational and coping strategies.